Ben Cherington worked the count to become Red Sox GM
October 25, 2011 Leave a comment
FInally the page has been turned and the next chapter in the Red Sox history books can begin with the hiring of Ben Cherington as we put the mess that was the last two months behind us Cherington, a Meriden New Hampshire native is the fourth New England native in a row to be named full-time Red Sox GM, not including interim GM Mike Port. He was originally hired by Dan Duquette in 1999 after working a few years as an advanced scout in the Cleveland Indians organization. He became a favorite understudy of wonder-kid Theo Epstein during his tenure in Boston. And he is a former co-GM.
Cherington got his start with the Indians in 1998 as a video advance scout. After one year in Cleveland he was hired by Dan Duquette to work with his hometown team, the Red Sox, at the age of 25. In three years he handled multiple scouting jobs for both professional and amateur talents. In 2001 the Red Sox ownership changed hands and Dan Duquette was unceremoniously dumped by the new Red Sox ownership in favor of Port. What may have been a setback for Cherington when the guy who hired him was let go soon became a blessing. Port named him assistant director of player development for the 2002 season.
After the 2002 season Port moved on and the Red Sox failed at securing the services of Athletics GM and sabremetrics god Billy Beane. The Sox moved on to Theo Epstein, Larry Lucchino’s young protege, who was supposed to serve as Beane’s assistant GM. Epstein quickly went to work assembling his new baseball ops staff. He brought in numerous young up-and-comers and grizzly veteran personnel men alike from various organizations. He made just one promotion from the current Red Sox baseball operations staff – he promoted Ben Cherington to director of player development. After the 2005 season when Theo Epstein briefly left the organization following a feud with Lucchino Cherington was named co-GM along with current Cubs GM Jed Hoyer. When Epstein came back Cherington returned to his former role and eventually rose up to Assistant General Manager and Associate Vice President. Today Cherington was named the Red Sox’ Executive Vice President and General Manager.
Ben Cherington’s resume while heading the player development system for the Red Sox speaks for itself. Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Bucholz, Jonathan Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Daniel Bard were all drafted and developed by the Red Sox during Cherington’s tenure. Not mentioned are key contributors used as trade chips to other teams, such as Justin Masterson, David Murphy, Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and Freddy Garcia. He has all of the hardware that Theo and Tito have. He’s worked under two of the best baseball men of the past 20 years, Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino, for the past 10 years. He is infinitely qualified to do this job.
I have not yet watched his introductory press conference (I will recap when I do) but I have heard nothing but good things stemming from it. It jives with the reputation he has in baseball circles, cool, calm, collective, and ready to surprise. At this juncture in the road there is no doubt we need a hardass type of a manager but there’s no doubt we are at an advantage with Cool Hand Ben making the personnel decisions and representing the Red Sox with agents and other teams. Theo will look to build on his own legacy in Chicago while Cherington will look to create his own here. And it all might be for the best.
Also, John Lackey will have Tommy John surgery and miss the 2012 season